When a case is described finely balanced, how important are the children’s expressed wishes and feelings? Dorset Council v M & Ors (Removal : Balance of Harm) [2021] EWFC B43 – Transparency Project

Posted September 8th, 2021 in adoption, care orders, children, families, family courts, fostering, local government, news by sally

‘Every case is fact specific but what makes cases like this interesting is seeing what it was that made the Judge’s decision fall on the opposite side of the line to the professionals when the decision is said to be “finely balanced” and “on a knife edge”.’

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Transparency Project, 7th September 2021

Source: www.transparencyproject.org.uk

Public Law Proceedings and the 1996 Hague Convention – Local Government Lawyer

‘Henry Setright QC and Chris Barnes consider a recent decision of the High Court examining the use of the 1996 Hague Convention in the context of public law proceedings.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 27th August 2021

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

The Factors and Guidance to make an application for Discharge of a Care Order pursuant to s. 39 of the Children Act 1989 – Becket Chambers

‘The combined effect of sections 1 and 39 of the Act is that on application of an entitled applicant the court may discharge a care order or replace it with a supervision order, in which case there is no requirement for the s 31(2) threshold to be crossed (the threshold for making a care or supervision order – significant harm). As the decision concerns a question of upbringing, the child’s welfare is the court’s paramount consideration, and particular regard is to be given to the factors in the welfare checklist in s1(3). The court shall not make the order unless to do so would be better for the child than making no order. Provisions of the Act must, so far as is possible to do so, be read and given effect in a way which is compatible with rights protected by Arts 3 and 8 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms 1950.’

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Becket Chambers, 20th August 2021

Source: becket-chambers.co.uk

Mother loses appeal over order that father should be informed of care proceedings – Local Government Lawyer

Posted August 20th, 2021 in appeals, care orders, children, families, local government, news, rape, sexual offences by sally

‘The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal against an order that a child’s biological father should be informed of care proceedings concerning his daughter against the mother’s wishes.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 19th August 2021

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Authorising unregistered care and deprivation of liberty – Local Government Lawyer

‘Martin Downs analyses the Supreme Court’s judgment on the use of the inherent jurisdiction to authorise the deprivation of liberty of children in alternative restrictive placements by a local authority in cases where an approved secure children’s home is unavailable.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 13th August 2021

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Court of Appeal calls for fresh attention to fundamental principles of good case management in care proceedings as workload grows – Local Government Lawyer

Posted August 12th, 2021 in appeals, care orders, case management, family courts, news by sally

‘The desired shift in professional practice in care proceedings can be achieved by paying fresh attention to the fundamental principles of good case management, the Court of Appeal has stressed in two cases appealed from the Family Court at Leeds.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 12th August 2021

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Authorising unregistered care and deprivation of liberty — Martin Downs – UK Human Rights Blog

‘Legislatures in London and Cardiff have long ago established the most detailed safeguards and systems of registration to protect young people placed in children’s homes – most especially where that involves depriving them of their liberty. At the same time, the administrations in both capitals have presided over a situation whereby there is a significant shortage of such registered accommodation. This has tended to provoke expressions of outrage by the Judiciary. One of these problem cases has reached the Supreme Court (T (A Child), Re [2021] UKSC 35).’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 5th August 2021

Source: ukhumanrightsblog.com

Ep148: Interim Care Orders and Newborn Babies – Law Pod UK

Posted July 30th, 2021 in birth, care orders, families, news, podcasts by sally

‘Richard Ager and Clare Ciborowska of 1 Crown Office Row (Brighton) discuss with Rosalind English the distressing and emotional business of removing newborns from their mothers when it is decided that it is in the infant’s best interests. Earlier this year the Public Law Working group has published a series of recommendations for improvements in practice to make the whole procedure less traumatic for the mother. Whether these recommendations will be implemented remains to be seen.’

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Law Pod UK, 29th July 2021

Source: audioboom.com

Child protection investigations – no further action necessary? – Transparency Project

Posted July 23rd, 2021 in care orders, children, families, local government, news, social services by sally

‘Are hundreds of thousands of families being put through unnecessary investigations by unchecked social workers? That’s the suggestion made by a succession of recent news stories, some prompted by the first report of the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care. Services are ‘too focused on investigating families’, went the BBC; ‘innocent families have been traumatised by groundless investigations’, said The Times as part of a series on the issue, elsewhere reporting that ‘councils … launch abuse investigations based on a single unexplained mark’, and asserting ‘social workers too quick to wade in’, quoting the Review’s chair, Josh Macalister, as saying that social workers are ‘investigating first when [they] should be helping’.’

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Transparency Project, 23rd July 2021

Source: www.transparencyproject.org.uk

Judge praises council for “brave but proper decision” to end care proceedings – Local Government Lawyer

‘A Family Court judge has praised the London Borough of Bromley for its “brave but proper decision” to end care proceedings in case where a child was suspected to have suffered deliberate injury but was later found not to.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 22nd July 2021

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Court of Appeal allows appeal by council as judgment in childcare proceedings did not contain required analysis of competing options – Local Government Lawyer

Posted July 14th, 2021 in adoption, appeals, care orders, children, families, judges, local government, news by tracey

‘The Court of Appeal has allowed an appeal by a council over a judge’s order that effectively rejected the local authority’s care plan for adoption for an 18-month-old child (A).’

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Local Government Lawyer, 13th July 2021

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Family Court judge issues ruling to highlight successful use of “Resolutions Model” – Local Government Lawyer

‘A mother and daughter have been reunited under the rarely used ‘Resolutions Model’ by the Family Court.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 8th July 2021

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Discharge of a Care Order – Court of Appeal summarises the test to be applied – Becket Chambers

Posted June 24th, 2021 in care orders, chambers articles, children, news by sally

‘In TT (Children: Discharge of Care Order) [2021] EWCA Civ 742 the Court of Appeal sets out the tests to be applied on an application to discharge a care order and also considered the relevance of attachment theory in welfare evaluations. Mostyn J’s approach to these issues in the recent case of GM v Carmarthenshire County Council [2018] EWFC 36, [2018] 3 WLR 1126 (‘GM”) was overruled.’

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Becket Chambers, 15th June 2021

Source: becket-chambers.co.uk

High Court rejects ‘failure to remove’ abuse claim – UK Human Rights Blog

‘In a significant adverse judgment for child abuse claimants, DFX v Coventry City Council [2021] EWHC 1382 (QB), Mrs Justice Lambert rejected a claim brought by a number of claimants who alleged that the defendant council’s social services negligently delayed in instigating care proceedings and that had they been removed from the family home earlier they would have avoided serial abuse at the hands of their parents.’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 14th June 2021

Source: ukhumanrightsblog.com

Judge dismisses application by birth parents for boy in interim care to be circumcised before second birthday – Local Government Lawyer

‘A High Court judge has dismissed an application by a mother for a boy (P), who is aged 21 months and in interim care, to be circumcised in accordance with the custom of the Muslim faith before his second birthday.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 15th June 2021

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

When Two Worlds Collide – the interplay of SGOs and care orders in light of F v G [2021] EWCA Civ 622 – Family Law Week

Posted June 11th, 2021 in appeals, care orders, children, families, guardianship, local government, news by tracey

‘Madeleine Whelan, barrister of Fourteen, analyses a recent Court of Appeal case that highlights the flexibility of the Children Act.’

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Family Law Week, 9th June 2021

Source: www.familylawweek.co.uk

Research shows rising number of public law cases involving newborn babies, highlights short notice given to most parents – Local Government Lawyer

Posted June 8th, 2021 in birth, care orders, children, news, notification, reports, statistics by sally

‘In the majority of public law cases involving newborn babies parents are given very little formal notice that care proceedings have been issued and the case is to be heard in court, research by the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory (FJO) has shown.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 7th June 2021

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Newborn care report sparks judicial response – Law Society’s Gazette

‘Judges are to investigate the use of urgent hearings in proceedings involving babies, after a study found that 85% of mothers in cases involving newborns being taken into care were given less than seven days’ formal notice.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 4th June 2021

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

‘Overwhelming and emotionally traumatic’: 1 in 6 new mothers only given a day’s notice of care proceedings, research says – The Independent

‘One in six mothers involved in care proceedings over the last year were given just a day’s notice of a court hearing to decide whether their newborn child would be taken into care, according to research. The vast majority of such women in England and Wales receive less than one week’s notice, new analysis shows.’

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The Independent, 5th June 2021

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Postcode lottery for baby care orders – judge – BBC News

‘Care order applications are usually made when social workers decide a mother is unable to look after her child on her own. The baby will probably go into foster care and it may be adopted.’

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BBC News, 4th June 2021

Source: www.bbc.co.uk